No one anticipated that a pandemic would come in 2020. Many business owners lost their brands, while others struggled to stay afloat a year after the crisis. Since the COVID-19 problem caused dramatic changes in how consumers shop, businesses had to find ways to remain in operation and continue serving their target audiences.
For one, most consumers migrated online, leaving physical stores looking half-empty. There’s also the fact that health and safety protocols suggest fewer interactions among customers and businesses. Many consumers would instead shop online than spend time in actual stores.
Reduced foot traffic lowers businesses’ ability to optimize their revenue. There are other marketing challenges prominent during the pandemic, such as the following.
Marketing on a Reduced Budget
Budgeting is crucial, especially during such a crisis. Since sales are affected but operational expenses remain the same, businesses had to find ways to work with a smaller budget. For some brands, this meant finding areas in their business they can reduce their expenses, including cutting their marketing budget.
When a company has a limited budget for marketing, this can impact its ability to reach its target audience, get the message across preferred channels, and optimize its marketing efforts. The good news is, there are ways you can gain more despite your limited marketing budget.
For one, digital marketing allows you to reach your target consumers online. Even if you lack the budget to hire your own team of digital marketers, you always have the option to outsource certain digital marketing services. This enables you to optimize your digital marketing efforts based on your budget.
Before, it was easier to drive engagement, especially when health was never an issue. It is easier to establish a connection with your clients since you get to talk to them, arrange meetings, or reach out whenever they visit your store. Nowadays, it becomes a lot trickier with all the social distancing and other health protocols involved.
As consumers went online, they sought faster online assistance, continuous online engagements, and even reliable shipping. This made businesses instantly boost their online efforts to better serve their clients and target audiences on the web.
Different brands worldwide suddenly have their own websites, are more active on social media, and are scrambling to increase engagements in other platforms across the internet. Some even hired a community website builder to boost customer engagements.
Increasing Foot Traffic
During the first few months of the pandemic, many consumers went on sheltering in place as part of their attempt to stay healthy and safe. This meant fewer trips to physical stores and more online shopping. For brick-and-mortar businesses, this has been an enormous blow to their revenue.
So, they had to think of ways to divert the situation and encourage their target audiences to continue coming to their store. For most businesses, they went on improving their physical location by observing the health and safety protocols. By ensuring that their employees are safe and they are following the new protocols, customers will have better confidence in visiting their location.
There are brick-and-mortar brands that opened their online store, merging their offline and online marketing efforts. They are offering pick-ups in their physical store to entice consumers to visit their place of business. Others went on offering others goods and services to attract more consumers to drop by their location.
Dealing with Travel Restrictions
Some states placed travel restrictions, forcing businesses to only focus on localized marketing. Those who used to entertain more clients from other countries and states had to innovate ways and entice local customers into their business. Nowadays, companies focus on localized marketing to nurture connections with the locals.
They aim to build a better sense of community with residents. Brands focus on building their local presence to scale their operation. Even as borders started opening up, they found that localized marketing helped their brand stand taller and stronger.
Marketing to Millennials
Millennials make up most of today’s consumer group. They are into convenience, online reviews, personalized interactions, and corporate social responsibility. Regular brands find them intimidating since they have higher standards and bigger demands compared to baby boomers.
Some brands did rethink their marketing strategy to better fit millennials’ tastes. Some went on boosting their online efforts, improving their business processes to make it more sustainable and personalized customer experience. They now value customer feedback and encourage old and new customers to post online reviews for other customers to see.
Marketing during these challenging times is never easy. It is not as simple as posting your offers online and listing your brand on the web. It goes beyond knowing what your competitors are doing and considering what modern consumers want. During the pandemic, many marketing issues became apparent, further challenging the resilience of modern business owners.